Cloud 9 Adventure Ltd Coronavirus Policy
Due to the current Covid-19 situation, we have sadly had to cancel all of our trips from 17th March until mid-August 2020.
If you were supposed to be travelling with us during that time, then we have already been in touch with you to discuss your trip plans.
If you were supposed to pay your balance by now, don't worry: we are not asking for balances until we have more of an idea about whether your trip can go ahead.
The situation is uncertain: travel restrictions and lock-down rules are different in each country, and change so frequently, often with short notice, that it is simply not possible to predict whether your summer trip can go ahead as planned - so a degree of flexibility about your travel plans will be required. None of us, including our own governments, know what we will be allowed to do, when we will be allowed to do it, or when it will be safe to travel again.
We are making decisions about most trips 6-8 weeks before they are due to depart. We will be in touch with each client individually about your trip.
We would dearly love for you all to have the holidays you have been waiting for, and we really want to support our hotels, refuges, guides and suppliers. It's been a tough decision to make all these cancellations: from our end, we can provide the trip - the bigger question is whether you are going to be able to get here.
To our amazing guests who have sent us such lovely messages of support: your kind thoughts are so very much appreciated. You are the heart of our business, and we can't wait to welcome you to our hills and mountains as soon as it is safe to travel again.
If we do have to cancel your trip, you'll be pleased to hear that we have the most flexible refund policy that we know of: see below for your options.
Do note that due to the number of cancellations this year, so many people are rescheduling for 2021 that we anticipate popular trips such as the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Walker's Haute Route, and the Dolomites Alta Via 1 will fill much faster than usual for next summer, so we would definitely recommend getting your choice of 2021 dates to us sooner rather than later.
Summary of Your Options - Private Groups and Self-Guided Trips:
If you'd like to hold out and see if you can have your trip this year, then let us know we'll let you know the date limit that your hotels need to know by before we need to pay the balances. It's usually 4-8 weeks depending on the hotel.
If you're planning on travelling this year, please check your travel insurance and whether you are covered for anything covid-related. Will they cover you if you need medical care, and will they cover you if you need a helicopter?
If you're planning on travelling this year, do be aware that each mountain refuge and hotel is in the process of introducing new measures. Most refuges will now ask you to bring your own sleeping bag, and many establishments will require you to wear a mask in the public areas.
If you already know that you'd like to reschedule for 2021, then let us know. There's no fee to swap, and you'll receive the trip at the 2020 price
If you'd like to postpone but don't know your future dates yet, then no problem. We'll keep your deposit for the moment, but you'll receive your trip at the 2020 price when you've decided your dates. You can let us know when you're ready
If you'd like to cancel your trip because there is a travel restriction in place for your country, you can receive a refund of your deposit. For each trip we pay non-refundable hotel deposits - so if you choose to cancel rather than postpone, being open with you, it's going to cost us. Hence why we're grateful to any who choose to postpone rather than cancel. But we won't force you to!
Summary of Your Options - Scheduled Group Trips:
Please wait until 6-8 weeks before your trip is due to depart before these options apply:
Reschedule for September or October dates in 2020 (no fee to swap, you can swap again if it turns out you can't travel this summer)
Reschedule for any dates in 2021 - and receive the trip at the 2020 price
Put your deposit towards a 2021 trip at the 2020 price - no problem if you're not sure of dates yet, you can let us know when you're ready
Receive a refund of your deposit if we cancel your trip because you can't get here due to coronavirus travel restrictions
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my holiday take place?
We have currently had to cancel all of our trips from 17th March up to and including 8th August 2020. Uncertainty about travel restrictions does mean that it's quite hard to make these decisions as we don't have enough information about international borders. We are following advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, along with the government advice from the country you are visiting.
The majority of our trips visit France, Switzerland, Italy or the UK: all of these countries have been affected differently, and will have different rules about when they might reopen their borders for travel and tourism.
For all of our trips, we will make a decision about whether to cancel 6 weeks before the trip, and will write to you to let you know. We will try to be as flexible as we possibly can. Our goal is for as many of our clients as possible to have their holidays.
What we do know: Switzerland has eased lockdown restrictions, with hotels and some mountain huts all opening: but no announcement about international travel has been made. France is easing lockdown, and bars and restaurants reopened on 2nd June. Borders, however, are closed until further notice. The current suggestion for France is that until at least July 24th, there will be a 2 week quarantine for those arriving from outside Europe. This has not been confirmed yet.
Many Swiss hotels have reopened already, and all of our hotels and refuges on the Haute Route have decided to reopen by the end of June. Most of our trips start in France with 1 or 2 nights in the Chamonix valley: we need more info about French travel/borders before we know whether your trip can begin in France. If you can't start in France, we can alter the trip so that you stay entirely within Switzerland, and would do a circular route that takes in the Col de Balme and view of the Chamonix Valley. We shoould know more about France after a Tourism Plan is being introduced on May 14th.
Tour du Mont Blanc
Hotels and refuges along the Tour du Mont Blanc will be open this summer. The border with France and Italy is open. And the border with Switzlerand and France may reopen on June 15th.
Alta Via 1 - Dolomites
The Dolomites huts should be open this summer. We have cancelled our June and July trips, but our 28th August trip is still scheduled to go ahead, as long as you can get here.
We are planning to run our trips from early September onwards. If this is not possible, then you'll be able to reschedule to 2021 or receive a refund.
We are not sure when we'll be able to resume trips to the UK. Be aware that those coming from outside the UK will need to quarantine for 2 weeks on arrival.
Can I delay my balance payment?
Balance payments are normally due 10 weeks before the start of your trip. We have decided not to ask for balance payments for upcoming trips where there are still travel restrictions in place. We will be in touch individually about each trip, in the order that they are due to happen. Don't be alarmed if we haven't asked you for your balance payment yet: your accommodation is still booked, we just didn't think it made sense to ask for more money if we might not be able to run your trip. We will resume asking for balance payments once international borders have reopened in the countries you are travelling to.
Can I cancel my trip?
We are making a decision about each trip 6 weeks before it is due to go ahead. If you choose to cancel or postpone with more than 6 weeks to go before your trip is due to take place, then our normal Terms and Conditions will apply.
Note that we are not currently considering cancelling our late-August, September or October group trips, as it is too early to make that decision. If it is more than 6 weeks to go and you already know that you wish to cancel, then do let us know. Whilst we will not be likely to be able to offer a refund, we will do our best to swap you either onto a later trip, or to dates in 2021. See the next point below for more information.
Am I entitled to a refund?
If you are trying to cancel a trip before the limit of 6 weeks to go, then you are not normally entitled to a refund of your deposit. It will still be worth contacting us if you already know you would like to reschedule, so do please let us know even if it's more than 6 weeks to go, as we'll do whatever we can to help.
If we have to cancel your holiday due to government travel travel advice, then we will be in touch with you individually 6 weeks before your trip, and you will be able to choose from the following 4 options:
postpone your trip to later dates in September or October 2020 (no fee to swap dates)
put your deposit towards any 2021 trip (and subsequently receive that trip at the 2020 price)
if you're not sure of your 2021 dates yet, you can still postpone your trip, and just let us know when you know your dates - you'll still receive the trip at the 2020 price
receive a refund of your deposit
Please note that we have chosen to be as flexible as we possibly can be. We have seen so many large and well-known companies not offering their clients any refunds at all, with an admin fee for those who want to swap dates. We would rather operate ethically and give you the choice: if we can't offer you your holiday, we feel it's only fair to offer a refund of your deposit. And if instead you'd like to put it towards your 2021 trip, then as a thank you, we will offer your 2021 trip at the 2020 price. And if you're not sure which trip you want to do yet, then no problem, we'll give you a credit note, but you'll still receive your 2021 trip at the 2020 price.
I haven't received a reply to my email about my trip this summer
We have been inundated with people asking about their summer holidays, and we have had to prioritise replying in the order that your trip is happening. We also now have just Emma running the office and working from home. She will reply, but is deleting chaser emails from our clogged inbox.
Can I book a holiday for Summer 2020?
We are continuing to take bookings for trips later in the summer, but please note that we are unsure if your holiday can take place. We would recommend booking with an open and flexible mind. We are currently not taking bookings that require non-refundable hotels, but we'd happily take most bookings for late-August onwards, and would of course refund you if the trip cannot take place.
Is my deposit or credit note protected?
Yes: as part of the EU Package Travel Regulations, all payments you make to us are protected, and are stored in a Trust Account that we cannot access until the date your holiday finishes. Credit notes are covered under the same policy. Your funds are protected, so in the unlikely event of our failure, you would receive a full refund of anything you have paid to us.